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Citing Your Sources


MLA style for documentation is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature.

MLA 8th Edition

One standard citation format applies to every source type

Core lements of the MLA citation (8th edition)

Reproduced from

Author. When a source has three or more authors, only the first one shown in the source is normally given.
It is now acceptable to use online handles or screen names in place of authors’ names.


Container. Containers are the elements that “hold” the source. For example, if a television episode is watched on Netflix, Netflix is the container.



Number and volume. Note that the abbreviations vol. and no. have been added to journal article citations.

Omitting the publisher from some source types. It is not necessary to include the publisher for periodicals or for a web site when the name of the site matches the name of the publisher.

Omitting the city of publication. Include the the city of publication only if the version of the source differs when published in a different country. (Example: British editions of books versus versions printed in the United States).

Inclusion of URLs (without  “http://” or “https://”) is highly recommended. This allows to trace the information online, even if it becomes outdated.

The citing of DOIs (digital object identifiers) is encouraged.

Citing the date when an online work was consulted is now optional.

Modified from and

Selected examples of MLA 7 vs. MLA 8

  MLA 7 MLA 8
Book Book citation MLA 7th Book citation MLA 8


in a



Citation for a print article MLA7 Citation for a print article MLA 8

Article from a library

Citation  for an article form a library database MLA 7 Citation  for an article form a library database MLA 8
Web site with no author Citation for a website with no author, MLA 7 Citation for a website with no author, MLA 8

The examples above are reproduced from

Sources for additional information


Books in the Library Collection

Citation Formatters - Are They Up to Date?

Please note that citation formatters built into databases don't always keep up with the latest changes. If you use the database to generate your MLA citation, please make sure to compare the citation against the core elements, changes, and examples listed above.

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